October 15, 2012

Agreements:

  • To invite Bishop Hee-Soo Jung to be present with us as we look at part d. of our task: “Confront imbalances of power and avoid the perils of majority rule (i.e., the tyranny of the majority)” and reflect on the decision of the Judicial Council regarding our work and discrimination.
  • To add a retreat to our monthly meetings. Perhaps sometime in January or February, along a model such as an afternoon/evening, whole next day, and morning of a third.
  • To identify our work at Clergy Day and be in conversation with Discipleship Leadership Council regarding our work in connection with other parts of the Conference.

A representative sample of our conversation together:

  • What’s it going to look like to live healthily together? What specific commitments are needed, what process? Are we simply modeling and if so who will note it? Is this about Amy or the clergy and the church as a whole?
  • We know the Conference is good at creating committees and then ignoring their work. So what power do we have if we have no on-going connection with the life of the conference and just bring back a report?
  • Our anxiety is reflective of all groups being anxious, that we are a fractured community where everyone feels unheard.
  • We seem to have a simultaneous attraction to and resistance to community. Image 20 alpha dogs trying to hang out together. They don’t. Each has their own pack. Is this an accurate description of clergy getting together? Is a common purpose or enemy needed to be a catalyst for covenanting between such independent leaders.
  • The word “healing” entered our conversation asking what that would look like in this situation. What forgiveness and reconciliation is needed to provide space for a renewal of covenant?
  • We recognized there is a certain “guilt by association” for being a part of this group. The assumption being that we are all just Amy groupies and some of our colleagues won’t speak or have coffee with us because of our presence here. This led to a counter assumption that folks feel our current state of affairs is “good enough”, that the pain level of some is acceptable and we can just keep going as we have.
  • One of our dilemmas is about conflicts between covenants. How can we already have one covenant (Book of Discipline) while we are working toward another covenant (a less restrictive one). And back around we go to attempting to clarify our current covenantal morass, both internal and external.
  • Reflection was made that covenant is clearest at the opening of a conversation between individual call and communal discernment and that we remember covenant more than we define it. The power of covenant is in remembering its gift to expand, not in narrowing participation.
  • We continue to ask, “what is our witness” and were reminded of ¶307 (2008 Book of Discipline) on the purposes of Orders and to see if simply living by them would be the same as coming up with a report.